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Pasion Flamenca - Por Callejera

by Marian Horosko
October 3, 2009
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-1414
"Por Callejeras" is a romantic comedy in the repertoire of the Pasión Flamenca Company performed by the eight member group recently at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space. This choreo-comedy, created by its artistic director and choreographer, Jorge Navarro, is a charming work, restricted in this case by a small stage and limited lighting, but is strong on authenticity and professionalism.

Flamenco, attributed as an art form to the migration of gypsies to Spain from its early Indian, Moorish and Berber roots, was the percussive voice of an oppressed people. Under the direction of Navarro, a mesmerizing performer, it entrances and captivates the viewer. His background is impressive as a performer and now as a steadfast artistic director and founder of The New York Center for Flamenco Performing Arts/ArtsFlamenco and its dance company based in New York City. His guest choreographer, Antonio Hidalgo is just as accomplished and although the plot is thin, what matters is the dancing. The other members of the cast include dancer Rebecca Tomás, a fierce performer, Alicia Flor del Campo, singers Maria Montilla and Bárbara Martinez.

The performance opens with the entire company in Tanguillos, entering into a cabaret setting with a percussionist/dancer, two female singers, guitarist..Pedro Cortés, music director, and the confrontation begins. The flamenco dance is largely a solo performance, choreographed and spontaneous, enlarged and enhanced by the personality of the performer. There have been great ones…Escudero, who danced into his 90s, Pilar Lopez and Nila Ampore, whose long train swept the stage. The format is in the use of castanets (almost a dying form), hand-clapping and abundant spirit and fire. The steps are constructed to the form and rhythm and may include individual contributions.

Spanish dance captivated the ballet choreographer and the renversé (a movement within a turn that resembles the arms of the flamenco dancer) appears in the classroom as well as in the divertissements of classical ballets. Our own tap dancing is a percussive form raised to professional level by artists who appeared in vaudeville and night clubs.

The company will probably appear as part of the annual Latin American Cultural week in November. The mission of the group is to preserve the tradition while evolving Flamenco as an art form. Watch for it. Better still, try it at the Performing Arts Center in a class for adults: info@artsflamenco.org.
Cast of Pasion Flamenca Left, Director Jorge Navarro, center Rebeca Thomas (in red)

Cast of Pasion Flamenca
Left, Director Jorge Navarro, center Rebeca Thomas (in red)

Photo © & courtesy of Maly Blomberg


Jorge Navarro

Jorge Navarro

Photo © & courtesy of Maly Blomberg


Jorge Navarro, Antonio Hidalgo

Jorge Navarro, Antonio Hidalgo

Photo © & courtesy of Maly Blomberg

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